PixeLite: A Thin and Wearable High Bandwidth Electroadhesive Haptic Array

Sylvia Tan, Roberta L. Klatzky, Michael A. Peshkin, J. Edward Colgate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present PixeLite, a novel haptic device that produces distributed lateral forces on the fingerpad. PixeLite is 0.15&#x00A0;mm thick, weighs 1.00&#x00A0;g, and consists of a 4&#x00D7;4 array of electroadhesive brakes (&#x201C;pucks&#x201D;) that are each 1.5&#x00A0;mm in diameter and spaced 2.5&#x00A0;mm apart. The array is worn on the fingertip and slid across an electrically grounded countersurface. It can produce perceivable excitation up to 500&#x00A0;Hz. When a puck is activated at 150&#x00A0;V at 5&#x00A0;Hz, friction variation against the countersurface causes displacements of 627 <inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\boldsymbol{\pm }$</tex-math></inline-formula> 59 <inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\boldsymbol{\mu }$</tex-math></inline-formula>m. The displacement amplitude decreases as frequency increases, and at 150&#x00A0;Hz is 47 <inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\boldsymbol{\pm }$</tex-math></inline-formula> 6 <inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\boldsymbol{\mu }$</tex-math></inline-formula>m. The stiffness of the finger, however, causes a substantial amount of mechanical puck-to-puck coupling, which limits the ability of the array to create spatially localized and distributed effects. A first psychophysical experiment showed that PixeLite&#x0027;s sensations can be localized to an area of about 30&#x0025; of the total array area. A second experiment, however, showed that exciting neighboring pucks out of phase with one another in a checkerboard pattern did not generate perceived relative motion. Instead, mechanical coupling dominates the motion, resulting in a single frequency felt by the bulk of the finger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Bandwidth
  • Couplings
  • Fabrication
  • Fingers
  • Glass
  • Haptic interfaces
  • Vibrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'PixeLite: A Thin and Wearable High Bandwidth Electroadhesive Haptic Array'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this